Is Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker Gay? Does It Even Matter?
Reports That Proposition 8 Justice, Vaughn Walker Is A Homosexual Is Causing A Controversy
The sexual orientation of Judge Vaughn Walker, the federal judge who overturned California's Gay Marriage Ban, Proposition 8, is being scrutinized.
Wrote Walker in the beginning of the 138-page ruling, " Having considered the trial evidence and the arguments of counsel, the court pursuant to FRCP 52(a) finds that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and that its enforcement must be enjoined."
Rumors have circulated for months that Walker is gay, fueled by the blogosphere and a San Francisco Chronicle column that stated his sexual orientation was an "open secret" in legal and gay activism circles.
The news that Judge Vaughn Walker may be gay has supporters the ban on same sex marriages in California outraged.
"Judge Walker should have recused himself from this case since he is a practicing homosexual," wrote Bryan Fischer of the American Families Association. He added: "His own personal sexual proclivities utterly compromised his ability to make an impartial ruling in this case."
Others say the sexual orientation of Judge Vaughn Walker is not relevant.
Larry Levine a law professor speaking to the Sacrmento Bee said judges have a legal and ethical obligation to render verdicts impartially and that is exactly what Judge Walker did in the case of Proposition 8.
"I think it's profoundly offensive to suggest that a judge who is not of the sexual orientation of the majority or the race of the majority or the religion of the majority is unfit to hear cases," he said.
"Are they saying that an African American judge can never rule on an affirmative action case and a Muslim can never rule on a case dealing with religious expression? If you follow their logic, that's exactly what they're saying."
Walker, 65, was nominated by Ronald Regan, confirmed by George Bush and is considered to be an independent thinking Conservative.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States